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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Barrow hospital failed to wash patient

BARROW hospital bosses have apologised to an elderly woman who told relatives “I stink” after being left unwashed for around 36 hours.

The woman’s niece, who wished to remain anonymous, said she raised concerns after visiting her aunt on Ward 7 at Furness General Hospital.

But when she approached a nurse on the ward she was shocked to be told: “She’s not the only one who hasn’t been washed.”

She told the Evening Mail: “For somebody to be in a professional position and to look me in the eye and say that is shocking. The general care isn’t good enough.”

The woman said her aunt, who is not able to attend to her own needs due to poor health, had not been washed between Tuesday morning and around 4pm on Wednesday last week. She said: “When we came to see her the first thing she said was, ‘don’t come too near, I stink’. I told her, ‘we will get this sorted’. I know it’s a big ship they’re running but there are certain lines you draw. If this is the case then there is something badly wrong. How are sick people supposed to feel better when they are not clean?”

The family’s distress was exacerbated further when the woman attempted to make an official complaint with the hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service, but was unable to speak to anyone.

She told the Evening Mail she had attempted to call the service numerous times and visited the PALS office in person on Thursday, only to find it unmanned.

“I just thought ‘this is crazy’. If I had been able to speak to somebody I would not have needed to come to the Evening Mail.”

Sue Smith, executive chief nurse at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, said: “We can confirm we were fully staffed on Ward 7 that day in line with national guidelines.

“We are aware there was an emergency incident on the ward that unfortunately caused delays to other patients receiving routine care.

“We would like to apologise to our patients who experienced a delay and we would welcome an opportunity to meet the family to discuss this complaint in person.”

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